Category Archives: Game Preview

Game Preview: 1/22/21 at Washington

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Tuesday, January 19
Buffalo 0 at Philadelphia 3
Goals: N/A
Goalie: Hutton (19 saves/20 shots)/Johansson (8 save/9 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 0/3; PK: 2/2; Shots: Buffalo 40 – Philadelphia 30

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 8)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 4 games
Kyle Okposo (lower body, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 4 games
Carter Hutton (upper body, Jan. 22) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/18: Recalled G Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad
1/19: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad; Placed F Kyle Okposo on IR
1/21: Reassigned G Dustin Tokarski from Rochester (AHL) to the taxi squad; Loaned F Rasmus Asplund to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Sunday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 28: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30: New Jersey at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 31: New Jersey at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at CAPITALS

  • This is the third of eight meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo 2-1 in Buffalo on Jan. 15
  • Next meeting: Sunday, Jan. 24 in Washington
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 2-6-2 on the road.
  • This is the 166th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has a 90-54-21 series record.
  • The Sabres are 41-29-12 on the road against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 10-6-1 all-time on January 22.
  • January 22, 1988: Phil Housley records his second career hat trick in a 7-3 win over New Jersey. Housley still holds the Sabres’ franchise record for most career hat tricks by defenseman (2).
  • January 22, 1989: Lindy Ruff scores his 100th NHL goal in a 6-4 win at home against the Bruins.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded seven points (2+5) in seven career meetings with the Capitals, including four points (1+3) in three road games.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded nine points (3+6) in his last eight meetings with the Capitals.
  • Jack Eichel has posted nine points (3+6) in eight games against the Capitals since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.

YOU AGAIN?

  • The Capitals swept the first series between these teams this season, winning back-to-back games in Buffalo on Jan. 14 and 15. Ten players recorded at least two points in the two-game series, including three points from Jack Eichel, Taylor Hall, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.
  • The Sabres outshot the Capitals 57-49 in those games but were outscored 8-5. Buffalo also led Washington in shot attempts at even strength by a 71-67 margin.
  • Six Sabres in the series (Rasmus Ristolainen, Jake McCabe, Tobias Rieder, Riley Sheahan, Colin Miller, Jeff Skinner) had a better shot attempts percentage at even strength than the Capitals player with the best mark in those games (Nick Jensen).
    • All six of those Sabres did so despite having offensive zone start percentages at or below 50 percent in the series.
  • Ristolainen (62.7% SAT%) and McCabe (61.5%), in particular, had success at even strength against Washington. With the pair on the ice together, the Sabres outchanced* the Capitals 15-3 and outscored them 3-0 during 5-on-5 play.

*Scoring chance data tracked by NaturalStatTrick.com and originally defined by WAR On Ice: http://blog.war-on-ice.com/new-defining-scoring-chances/index.html

DOMINANT DEFENSE

  • Entering play Thursday, four Sabres defensemen rank in the league’s top 40 in shot attempts percentage (min. 30 minutes played): Jake McCabe (15th, 58.1%), Rasmus Ristolainen (24th, 56.7%), Brandon Montour (35th, 55.0%) and Rasmus Dahlin (40th, 54.0%).
  • According to NaturalStatTrick.com, McCabe and Ristolainen rank 10th among NHL pairs who have played at least 30 minutes together this season. They have a SAT% of 58.0 percent when skating together at even strength despite an offensive zone start rate of just 44.7 percent.

GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

  • Taylor Hall has recorded six points (1+5) in his first four games with the Sabres after signing as a free agent in the offseason. Entering play Thursday, his six points tied for second-most in the NHL this season.
  • Before being held without a point on Tuesday at Philadelphia, Hall became the 20th player ever to begin his Sabres career with a three-game point streak and the fourth player to record at least six points through his first three regular-season games with Buffalo, joining Doug Gilmour, Steve Heinze and Bob Sweeney.

RISTO’S RECORDS

  • With his goal when these teams last met on Jan. 15 in Buffalo, Rasmus Ristolainen ascended the Sabres’ record books in two categories:
    • His 43rd career goal broke a tie with Bill Hajt for the 10th-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld by two goals for eighth-most.
    • He tied Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman (228). He now trails Bill Hajt by 16 points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen already held the franchise record for most overtime goals by a defenseman (4) and is tied for ninth all-time among the team’s blueliners with six game-winning goals.
  • Ristolainen’s career per-game output ranks him among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (13th), .37 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

WE LIKE EICH

  • With six assists through his first four games of the season, Jack Eichel entered play Thursday leading the NHL in assists and tied for the second-most points for the league.
  • Eichel is one goal from tying Jochen Hecht for the 19th-most goals in franchise history (138).
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .38 G/GP (14th), .58 A/GP (10th), .96 PTS/GP (11th)

HE’S DAHL HE’S CRACKED UP TO BE

  • Rasmus Dahlin’s career points-per-game rate (.58) currently ranks as the 18th-highest rate among active NHL defensemen with more than 10 career games played and as the fifth-best such rate in Sabres history.
  • Only six defensemen in Sabres history have had at least one season as prolific as Dahlin’s .68 points per game in his second NHL season in 2019-20: Phil Housley (8x), John Van Boxmeer (2x), Garry Galley (2x), Doug Bodger, Brian Campbell and Jerry Korab
  • The 20-year-old leads Buffalo defensemen with 21:05 of ice time per game in 2020-21.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
The Sabres had seven new players on their opening-night roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
Dylan Cozens, C Draft (2019) KUH-zihns Buffalo’s first-round pick (7th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft recently earned a silver medal and was named to the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship all-star team after leading all players with eight goals in the tournament.
Cody Eakin, C Free Agency EE-kihn His 10 career shorthanded goals tie for 20th-most in the NHL since he entered the league in 2011-12.
Taylor Hall, LW Free Agency HAWL Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 2017-18; his 1.05 points per game in the last three seasons ranks 17th in the NHL.
Matt Irwin, D Free Agency UHR-wihn Has a career shot attempts percentage (SAT%) of 51.3 percent and has never finished a full NHL season below 50.1 percent.
Tobias Rieder, LW Free Agency REE-duhr His three shorthanded goals in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs tied an NHL postseason record; he was the seventh player ever to score three in a single postseason.
Riley Sheahan, C Free Agency SHAY-uhn His 5.42 goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill in 2019-20 ranked 15th-best among the top 100 NHL forwards in shorthanded ice time.
Eric Staal, C Trade (MIN) STAWL Enters the 2020-21 season ranked in the top 10 among active NHL players in career regular-season games played (7th), goals (6th) and points (8th).

 SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings before 1/21 games)

  • Eichel: 6 A (1st), 6 PTS (T-2nd), 3 PPP (T-6th)
  • Hall: 5 A (T-2nd), 6 PTS (T-2nd), 3 PPP (T-6th)
  • Reinhart: 1 GWG (T-3rd)
  • Ristolainen: 18 hits (T-5th)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (18), Miller (8), Lazar/McCabe (7)
Blocked Shots: Montour (5), Jokiharju/McCabe/Rieder (4)
Shots: Skinner (14), Reinhart (12), Dahlin/Eichel/Montour (11)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 1-3-0 (2), 11/12, 3/15, 4/5

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 126-134 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 77-71 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Linus Ullmark … 2 games … 100 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 3 games … 500 career games played
Cody Eakin … 10 games … 600 career games played
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 point … 229 career points (sole possession, 7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Brandon Montour … 8 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A

Game Preview: 1/19/21 at Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Monday, January 18
Buffalo 6 at Philadelphia 1
Goals: Lazar (2), Reinhart (2), Jokiharju, Olofsson
Goalie: Hutton (21 saves/22 shots)
PP: 2/4; PK: 1/1; Shots: Buffalo 37 – Philadelphia 22

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 6)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 3 games
Kyle Okposo (lower body; injured reserve, Jan. 14) – 3 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/13: Assigned F Rasmus Asplund, F Casey Mittelstadt, D William Borgen, D Brandon Davidson and G Jonas Johansson to the taxi squad
1/14: Assigned F Jack Quinn to the taxi squad
1/18: Recalled G Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad
1/19: Recalled F Rasmus Asplund from the taxi squad; Placed F Kyle Okposo on IR

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Jan. 22: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 28: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30: New Jersey at Buffalo, 1 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at FLYERS

  • This is the second of eight meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Philadelphia 6-1 in Philadelphia on Jan. 18
  • Next meeting: Friday, Feb. 26 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 3-6-1 on the road.
  • This is the 183nd game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 70-88-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 26-54-14 on the road against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-8-3 all-time on January 19.
  • January 19, 1978: Led by a trio of two-goal performances (Don Luce, Rick Martin, Craig Ramsay), the Sabres defeat the Cleveland Barons 9-2.
  • January 19, 2001: Dominik Hasek records his 50th shutout as a member of the Sabres, blanking the Florida Panthers 1-0.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in consecutive meetings with the Flyers for the first time since they won three in a row from Feb. 19 to Oct. 30, 2015.
  • The road team has won just 60 of the 182 regular-season matchups between the Sabres and Flyers, including just two of the last nine. A win tonight would mark the first consecutive road wins in the series since the Sabres won consecutive games in Philadelphia on Feb. 19 and Oct. 27, 2015.

BULLYING THE BULLIES
Buffalo’s 6-1 win last night tied the Sabres’ second-best goal differential in their 182 regular-season matchups with the Flyers. It also tied their greatest winning margin in a road game in Philadelphia.

Buffalo’s Biggest Wins Against Philadelphia
Date Score Location
Oct. 17, 2006 9-1 Buffalo
Nov. 10, 1982 7-2 Buffalo
Nov. 13, 1993 7-2 Philadelphia
Feb. 23, 1996 7-2 Buffalo
Jan. 18, 2021 6-1 Philadelphia

HOT AGAINST PHILADELPHIA

  • Taylor Hall has totaled 27 points (10+17) in 21 career games against Philadelphia, tallying at least a point in all but three of those games. His 1.29 points per game against the Flyers represent his highest scoring rate against any team.
  • Eric Staal has been a point-per-game player against the Flyers in his 27 meetings with the team dating back to Nov. 14, 2011 (10+17), including two-point outputs in three of his last five matchups. He has also produced a point-per-game clip in his last 12 games in Philadelphia (4+8).
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 14 points (8+6) in his 13 career games against Philadelphia.
  • Victor Olofsson has posted a point in each of his first three career meetings with the Flyers (2+1).
  • Riley Sheahan has recorded six assists in his six visits to Philadelphia dating back to the beginning of the 2015-16 season, including at least a point in five of those games.

GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

  • Taylor Hall has recorded six points (1+5) in his first three games with the Sabres after signing as a free agent in the offseason.
  • With three assists last night, Hall became the 20th player to begin his Sabres career with a three-game point streak. With a point tonight, he would become the 10th player ever to begin his Sabres career with a point streak of at least four games. The last player to do so was Steve Heinze in 2000-01.
  • Hall also became the fourth player to record at least six points through his first three regular-season games with Buffalo, joining Bob Sweeney (3+5 in 3 GP), Steve Heinze (4+2 in 3 GP) and Doug Gilmour (2+4 in 3 GP).

RISTO’S RECORDS

  • With his goal on Friday vs. Washington, Rasmus Ristolainen ascended the Sabres’ record books in two categories:
    • His 43rd career goal broke a tie with Bill Hajt for the 10th-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld by two goals for eighth-most.
    • He tied Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman (228). He now trails Bill Hajt by 16 points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen already held the franchise record for most overtime goals by a defenseman (4) and is tied for ninth all-time among the team’s blueliners with six game-winning goals.
  • Ristolainen’s career per-game output ranks him among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (13th), .37 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

WE LIKE EICH

  • With his three-assist performance at Philadelphia last night, Jack Eichel joined Thomas Vanek (2+6 in 2012-13) as just the second Sabres player ever to register six assists through the team’s first three games of a season.
  • Eichel is one goal from tying Jochen Hecht for the 19th-most goals in franchise history (138).
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .38 G/GP (14th), .58 A/GP (10th), .96 PTS/GP (10th)

HE’S DAHL HE’S CRACKED UP TO BE

  • Rasmus Dahlin’s career points-per-game rate (.58) currently ranks as the 18th-highest rate among active NHL defensemen with more than 10 career games played and as the fifth-best such rate in Sabres history.
  • Only six defensemen in Sabres history have had at least one season as prolific as Dahlin’s .68 points per game in his second NHL season in 2019-20: Phil Housley (8x), John Van Boxmeer (2x), Garry Galley (2x), Doug Bodger, Brian Campbell and Jerry Korab
  • The 20-year-old leads all Sabres with 21:56 of ice time per game in 2020-21.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s second of eight sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 6-1 win last night at Philadelphia. The Sabres are 1-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 0-1-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in previous back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (0), one point (0) and zero points (1).

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
The Sabres had seven new players on their opening-night roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
Dylan Cozens, C Draft (2019) KUH-zihns Buffalo’s first-round pick (7th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft recently earned a silver medal and was named to the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship all-star team after leading all players with eight goals in the tournament.
Cody Eakin, C Free Agency EE-kihn His 10 career shorthanded goals tie for 20th-most in the NHL since he entered the league in 2011-12.
Taylor Hall, LW Free Agency HAWL Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 2017-18; his 1.05 points per game in the last three seasons ranks 17th in the NHL.
Matt Irwin, D Free Agency UHR-wihn Has a career shot attempts percentage (SAT%) of 51.3 percent and has never finished a full NHL season below 50.1 percent.
Tobias Rieder, LW Free Agency REE-duhr His three shorthanded goals in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs tied an NHL postseason record; he was the seventh player ever to score three in a single postseason.
Riley Sheahan, C Free Agency SHAY-uhn His 5.42 goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill in 2019-20 ranked 15th-best among the top 100 NHL forwards in shorthanded ice time.
Eric Staal, C Trade (MIN) STAWL Enters the 2020-21 season ranked in the top 10 among active NHL players in career regular-season games played (7th), goals (6th) and points (8th).

2020-21 ROSTER NOTES
Of the 23 players on Buffalo’s roster:

  • Nine were originally drafted by the Sabres — five were first-round selections (Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015; Dahlin, 2018; Cozens, 2019), one was a second-round pick (McCabe, 2012), one was a third-round pick (Johansson, 2014), one was a sixth-round pick (Ullmark, 2012) and one was a seventh-round pick (Olofsson, 2014).
  • Six were acquired in trades: Jokiharju, Miller, Montour, Skinner, Staal, Thompson
  • Eight were signed as free agents: Eakin, Hall, Hutton, Irwin, Lazar, Okposo, Rieder, Sheahan
  • Sixteen played in Buffalo at some point last season: Dahlin, Eichel, Hutton, Jokiharju, Johansson, Lazar, McCabe, Miller, Montour, Okposo, Olofsson, Reinhart, Ristolainen, Skinner, Thompson, Ullmark
  • Eight are new to the Sabres this season: Cozens, Eakin, Hall, Irwin, Rieder, Sheahan, Staal

SABRES AMONG LEAGUE-LEADERS (Sabres’ league rankings after last night’s game)

  • Eichel: 6 A (1st), 6 PTS (T-1st), 3 PPP (T-2nd), 3 EVP (T-7th)
  • Hall: 5 A (T-2nd), 6 PTS (T-1st), 3 PPP (T-2nd), 1 PPG (T-6th)
  • Olofsson: 1 PPG (T-6th), 2 PPP (T-7th)
  • Reinhart: 1 GWG (T-2nd), 1 PPG (T-6th)
  • Ristolainen: 15 hits (2nd)

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (15), Miller (7), Lazar (6)
Blocked Shots: Jokiharju (4), Montour (4), Eichel/McCabe/Thompson (3)
Shots: Reinhart (10), Dahlin/Olofsson/Montour/Skinner (9)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 1-2-0 (2), 11/9, 3/12, 2/3

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 126-134 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 77-71 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Linus Ullmark … 2 games … 100 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 4 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 point … 229 career points (sole possession, 7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Brandon Montour … 8 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 6 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Dylan Cozens … 1st NHL game … Jan. 14 vs. WSH
Dylan Cozens … 1st NHL point (assist) … Jan. 14 vs. WSH
Rasmus Ristolainen … 43rd NHL goal (10th in franchise history, defensemen) … Jan. 15 vs. WSH
Rasmus Ristolainen … 228th NHL point (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen) … Jan. 15 vs. WSH

Game Preview: 1/18/21 at Philadelphia

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Friday, January 15
Washington 2 at Buffalo 1
Goals: Ristolainen
Goalie: Ullmark (19 saves/21 shots)
PP: 0/5; PK: 0/0; Shots: Buffalo 31 – Washington 21

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 4)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 2 games
Kyle Okposo (lower body, Jan. 14) – 2 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/12: Assigned F Andrew Oglevie, F Arttu Ruotsalainen, D Jacob Bryson and D Mattias Samuelsson to Rochester (AHL)
1/13: Assigned F Rasmus Asplund, F Casey Mittelstadt, D William Borgen, D Brandon Davidson and G Jonas Johansson to the taxi squad
1/14: Assigned F Jack Quinn to the taxi squad
1/18: Recalled G Jonas Johansson from the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Tuesday, Jan. 19: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 28: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
SABRES at FLYERS

  • This is the first of eight meetings between the Sabres and Flyers this season.
  • Last meeting: Philadelphia defeated Buffalo 3-1 in Philadelphia on March 7, 2020.
  • Next meeting: Tuesday, Jan. 19 in Philadelphia
  • The Sabres are 3-7-0 in their last 10 games vs. the Flyers; 2-7-1 on the road.
  • This is the 182nd game all-time between Buffalo and Philadelphia; Buffalo has a 69-88-24 series record.
  • The Sabres are 25-54-14 on the road against the Flyers all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 12-6-4 all-time on January 18.
  • Four different Sabres goaltenders (Don Edwards, Tom Barrasso, Dominik Hasek, Martin Biron) have earned a shutout on Jan. 18. It is one of only three dates on which the Sabres have recorded four shutouts; the others are Feb. 16 and Nov. 19.
  • January 18, 1984: Tom Barrasso makes 30 saves in his first NHL shutout as the Sabres top the Los Angeles Kings 4-0.
  • January 18, 2008: Derek Roy records his third career hat trick and Drew Stafford records his first in a 10-1 win against the Atlanta Thrashers, marking the 12th game in franchise history to feature two Sabres hat tricks.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Tonight’s game is Buffalo’s first of seven nationally televised games this season.
  • The Sabres are seeking their first win against the Flyers since a 5-2 victory at home on Nov. 21, 2018 and their first win in Philadelphia since Oct. 27, 2015.
  • The home team has won seven of the last eight meetings between these teams.

HOT AGAINST PHILADELPHIA

  • Taylor Hall has totaled 24 points (10+14) in 20 career games against Philadelphia, tallying at least a point in all but three of those games.
  • Eric Staal has been a point-per-game player against the Flyers in his 26 meetings with the team dating back to Nov. 14, 2011 (10+16), including two-point outputs in three of his last four matchups. He has also produced a point-per-game clip in his last 11 games in Philadelphia (4+7).
  • Jack Eichel has recorded 10 points (7+3) in his last eight games against Philadelphia.
  • Victor Olofsson posted a point in both of his first two career meetings with the Flyers in 2019-20, tallying two points (1+1) in two visits to Philadelphia.
  • Riley Sheahan has recorded five assists in his five visits to Philadelphia dating back to the beginning of the 2015-16 season, including at least a point in four of those games.

GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION

  • Taylor Hall has recorded three points (1+2) in his first two games with the Sabres, averaging 20:33 of ice time in Buffalo’s season-opening series against the Washington Capitals.
  • With a point tonight, Hall would become the 20th player to begin his Sabres career with a three-game point streak and the fourth to do so beginning with the team’s first game of the season, joining Real Cloutier (1983-84), Calle Johansson (1987-88) and John Van Boxmeer (1979-80).

RISTO’S RECORDS

  • With his goal on Friday vs. Washington, Rasmus Ristolainen ascended the Sabres’ record books in two categories:
    • His 43rd career goal broke a tie with Bill Hajt for the 10th-most goals by a defenseman in Sabres history. He now trails Tyler Myers and Jim Schoenfeld by two goals for eighth-most.
    • He tied Jim Schoenfeld for the seventh-most career points recorded by a Sabres defenseman (228). He now trails Bill Hajt by 16 points for sixth-most.
  • Ristolainen already held the franchise record for most overtime goals by a defenseman (4) and is tied for ninth all-time among the team’s blueliners with six game-winning goals.
  • Ristolainen’s career per-game output ranks him among the franchise’s top 15 defensemen in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .09 G/GP (13th), .37 A/GP (12th), .46 PTS/GP (11th)

WE LIKE EICH

  • Jack Eichel is one goal from tying Jochen Hecht for the 19th-most goals in franchise history (138).
  • Eichel’s career per-game output ranks in the franchise’s top 15 in every major scoring category (min. 82 GP): .38 G/GP (14th), .57 A/GP (10th), .96 PTS/GP (11th)

HE’S DAHL HE’S CRACKED UP TO BE

  • Rasmus Dahlin’s career points-per-game rate (.59) currently ranks as the 15th-highest rate among active NHL defensemen with more than 10 career games played and as the fifth-best such rate in Sabres history.
  • Only six defensemen in Sabres history have had at least one season as prolific as Dahlin’s .68 points per game in his second NHL season in 2019-20: Phil Housley (8x), John Van Boxmeer (2x), Garry Galley (2x), Doug Bodger, Brian Campbell and Jerry Korab
  • The 20-year-old leads all Sabres with 22:56 of ice time per game in 2020-21.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens Buffalo’s second of eight sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night at Philadelphia. The Sabres are 0-1-0 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 0-1-0 in the second game so far this season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in back-to-back sets is: four points (0), three points (0), two points (0), one point (0) and zero points (1).

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
The Sabres had seven new players on their opening-night roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
Dylan Cozens, C Draft (2019) KUH-zihns Buffalo’s first-round pick (7th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft recently earned a silver medal and was named to the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship all-star team after leading all players with eight goals in the tournament.
Cody Eakin, C Free Agency EE-kihn His 10 career shorthanded goals tie for 20th-most in the NHL since he entered the league in 2011-12.
Taylor Hall, LW Free Agency HAWL Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 2017-18; his 1.05 points per game in the last three seasons ranks 17th in the NHL.
Matt Irwin, D Free Agency UHR-wihn Has a career shot attempts percentage (SAT%) of 51.3 percent and has never finished a full NHL season below 50.1 percent.
Tobias Rieder, LW Free Agency REE-duhr His three shorthanded goals in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs tied an NHL postseason record; he was the seventh player ever to score three in a single postseason.
Riley Sheahan, C Free Agency SHAY-uhn His 5.42 goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill in 2019-20 ranked 15th-best among the top 100 NHL forwards in shorthanded ice time.
Eric Staal, C Trade (MIN) STAWL Enters the 2020-21 season ranked in the top 10 among active NHL players in career regular-season games played (7th), goals (6th) and points (8th).

2020-21 ROSTER NOTES
Of the 22 players on Buffalo’s opening-night roster:

  • Eight were originally drafted by the Sabres — five were first-round selections (Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015; Dahlin, 2018; Cozens, 2019), one was a second-round pick (McCabe, 2012), one was a sixth-round pick (Ullmark, 2012) and one was a seventh-round pick (Olofsson, 2014).
  • Six were acquired in trades: Jokiharju, Miller, Montour, Skinner, Staal, Thompson
  • Eight were signed as free agents: Eakin, Hall, Hutton, Irwin, Lazar, Okposo, Rieder, Sheahan
  • Fifteen played in Buffalo at some point last season: Dahlin, Eichel, Hutton, Jokiharju, Lazar, McCabe, Miller, Montour, Okposo, Olofsson, Reinhart, Ristolainen, Skinner, Thompson, Ullmark
  • Eight are new to the Sabres this season: Cozens, Eakin, Hall, Irwin, Rieder, Sheahan, Staal

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen (7), Eichel (4), Hall/ Miller/Thompson (3)
Blocked Shots: Thompson (3), Dahlin/Olofsson/Ristolainen/Staal (2)
Shots: Dahlin (6), Olofsson (6), Rieder (5)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 0-2-0 (0), 5/8, 1/8, 1/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 126-134 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 77-71 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Linus Ullmark … 2 games … 100 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 5 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Rasmus Ristolainen … 2 goals … 45 career goals (T-8th in franchise history, defensemen)
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Rasmus Ristolainen … 1 point … 229 career points (sole possession, 7th in franchise history, defensemen)
Brandon Montour … 9 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 7 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Dylan Cozens … 1st NHL game … Jan. 14 vs. WSH
Dylan Cozens … 1st NHL point (assist) … Jan. 14 vs. WSH
Rasmus Ristolainen … 43rd NHL goal (10th in franchise history, defensemen) … Jan. 15 vs. WSH
Rasmus Ristolainen … 228th NHL point (T-7th in franchise history, defensemen) … Jan. 15 vs. WSH

Game Preview: 1/15/21 vs. Washington

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
Thursday, January 14
Washington 6 at Buffalo 4
Goals: Hall, Rieder, McCabe, Olofsson
Goalie: Hutton (22 saves/27 shots); 1 ENG
PP: 1/3; PK: 1/2; Shots: Washington 28 – Buffalo 26

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 2)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 1 game
Kyle Okposo (lower body, Jan. 14) – 1 game

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/11: Assigned F Brandon Biro, F Steven Fogarty, F Brett Murray, F C.J. Smith, D Casey Fitzgerald, D Ryan Jones, G Michael Houser and G Dustin Tokarski to Rochester (AHL)
1/12: Assigned F Andrew Oglevie, F Arttu Ruotsalainen, D Jacob Bryson and D Mattias Samuelsson to Rochester (AHL)
1/13: Assigned F Rasmus Asplund, F Casey Mittelstadt, D William Borgen, D Brandon Davidson and G Jonas Johansson to the taxi squad
1/14: Assigned F Jack Quinn to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Monday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 19: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7: p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 26: NY Rangers at Buffalo, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME
CAPITALS at SABRES

  • This is the second of eight meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Washington defeated Buffalo 6-4 in Buffalo on Jan. 14
  • Next meeting: Thursday, Feb. 11 vs. Washington
  • The Sabres are 3-6-1 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 4-4-2 at home.
  • This is the 165th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has a 90-53-21 series record.
  • The Sabres are 49-24-9 at home against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-9-3 all-time on January 15.
  • January 15, 1982: Buffalo defeats Toronto 8-2 on the strength of a hat trick by Yvon Lambert.
  • January 15, 1992: The Sabres tie the New Jersey Devils 8-8 in New Jersey in the highest scoring tie in franchise history. Dale Hawerchuk ties a franchise record with five assists in the game.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • Jake McCabe recorded his eighth career multi-point game (1+1) last night; it was his first since Nov. 17, 2018 at Minnesota.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded seven points (2+5) in six career meetings with the Capitals.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled eight points (4+4) in his last eight games against Washington.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded eight points (3+5) in his last seven meetings with the Capitals.
  • Jack Eichel has posted eight points (3+5) in seven games against the Capitals since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.

GOOD FIRST IMPRESSIONS

  • Taylor Hall and Tobias Rieder both scored in their Sabres debuts last night vs. Washington.
    • If either player scores tonight, he will become the first Sabres player to score in each of his first two games with the franchise since Jochen Hecht did so on Oct. 10 and 12, 2002.
  • Dylan Cozens recorded his first NHL point in his NHL debut last night with the primary assist on Rieder’s goal.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO
The Sabres had seven new players on their opening-day roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
Dylan Cozens, C Draft (2019) KUH-zihns Buffalo’s first-round pick (7th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft recently earned a silver medal and was named to the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship all-star team after leading all players with eight goals in the tournament.
Cody Eakin, C Free Agency EE-kihn His 10 career shorthanded goals tie for 20th-most in the NHL since he entered the league in 2011-12.
Taylor Hall, LW Free Agency HAWL Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 2017-18; his 1.05 points per game in the last three seasons ranks 17th in the NHL.
Matt Irwin, D Free Agency UHR-wihn Has a career shot attempts percentage (SAT%) of 51.3 percent and has never finished a full NHL season below 50.1 percent.
Tobias Rieder, LW Free Agency REE-duhr His three shorthanded goals in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs tied an NHL postseason record; he was the seventh player ever to score three in a single postseason.
Riley Sheahan, C Free Agency SHAY-uhn His 5.42 goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill in 2019-20 ranked 15th-best among the top 100 NHL forwards in shorthanded ice time.
Eric Staal, C Trade (MIN) STAWL Enters the 2020-21 season ranked in the top 10 among active NHL players in career regular-season games played (7th), goals (6th) and points (8th).

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game wraps up Buffalo’s first of eight sets of back-to-back games this season, which began with a 6-4 loss last night vs. Washington. The Sabres were 4-6-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-5-1 in the second game last season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in 2019-20 back-to-back sets was: four points (1), three points (3), two points (5), one point (0) and zero points (3).

2020-21 ROSTER NOTES
Of the 22 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • Eight were originally drafted by the Sabres — five were first-round selections (Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015; Dahlin, 2018; Cozens, 2019), one was a second-round pick (McCabe, 2012), one was a sixth-round pick (Ullmark, 2012) and one was a seventh-round pick (Olofsson, 2014).
  • Six were acquired in trades: Jokiharju, Miller, Montour, Skinner, Staal, Thompson
  • Eight were signed as free agents: Eakin, Hall, Hutton, Irwin, Lazar, Okposo, Rieder, Sheahan
  • Fifteen played in Buffalo at some point last season: Dahlin, Eichel, Hutton, Jokiharju, Lazar, McCabe, Miller, Montour, Okposo, Olofsson, Reinhart, Ristolainen, Skinner, Thompson, Ullmark
  • Eight are new to the Sabres this season: Cozens, Eakin, Hall, Irwin, Rieder, Sheahan, Staal

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: Ristolainen/Thompson (3), Eichel/Lazar/McCabe (2)
Blocked Shots: Ristolainen/Staal (2), McCabe/Miller/Olofsson (1)
Shots: Dahlin (4), Rieder (3), Several Players (2)

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 0-1-0 (0), 4/6, 1/3, 1/2

OVERTIME RESULTS (0-0; 126-134 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (0-0; 77-71 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Linus Ullmark … 3 games … 100 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 6 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Brandon Montour … 9 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 7 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
Dylan Cozens … 1st NHL game … Jan. 14 vs. WSH
Dylan Cozens … 1st NHL point (assist) … Jan. 14 vs. WSH

Game Preview: 1/14/21 vs. Washington

GAME-DAY RESOURCES

Game Notes NHL Stats Press Clips

LAST GAME
N/A

CURRENT INJURIES – (Man Games Lost: 0)
Player (injury, first game missed) – total games missed
Zemgus Girgensons (hamstring, Jan. 14; injured reserve) – 0 games
Kyle Okposo (lower body, Jan. 14) – 0 games

TRANSACTIONS IN PAST 7 DAYS
1/8: Signed F Riley Sheahan to a one-year contract worth $700,000
1/11: Assigned F Brandon Biro, F Steven Fogarty, F Brett Murray, F C.J. Smith, D Casey Fitzgerald, D Ryan Jones, G Michael Houser and G Dustin Tokarski to Rochester (AHL)
1/12: Assigned F Andrew Oglevie, F Arttu Ruotsalainen, D Jacob Bryson and D Mattias Samuelsson to Rochester (AHL).
1/13: Assigned F Rasmus Asplund, F Casey Mittelstadt, D William Borgen, D Brandon Davidson and G Jonas Johansson to the taxi squad
1/14: Assigned F Jack Quinn to the taxi squad

UPCOMING GAMES
Friday, Jan. 15Washington at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Monday, Jan. 18: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 19: Buffalo at Philadelphia, 7: p.m.
Friday, Jan. 22: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 24: Buffalo at Washington, 7 p.m.

TONIGHT’S GAME 
CAPITALS at SABRES

  • This is the first of eight meetings between the Sabres and Capitals this season.
  • Last meeting: Buffalo defeated Washington 3-2 (SO) in Buffalo on March 9, 2020
  • Next meeting: Friday, Jan. 15 in Buffalo
  • The Sabres are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games vs. the Capitals; 5-3-2 at home.
  • This is the 164th game all-time between Buffalo and Washington; Buffalo has a 90-52-21 series record.
  • The Sabres are 49-23-9 at home against the Capitals all-time.

THIS DATE IN SABRES HISTORY

  • The Sabres are 9-10-3 all-time on January 14.
  • January 14, 1972: The Sabres acquire Jim Lorentz from the New York Rangers in exchange for a second-round pick in the 1972 draft.
  • January 14, 1983: Steve Patrick records his first career two-goal game to lead the Sabres to a 3-2 victory over the Capitals at Buffalo Memorial Auditorium.
  • January 14, 2003: Ryan Miller stops all 22 Minnesota shots to earn a 1-0 victory and his first career shutout.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

  • With a win tonight, the Sabres would have wins in three consecutive visits from the Capitals for the first time since they won four in a row from Nov. 17, 2005 to Oct. 13, 2007.
  • Rasmus Dahlin has recorded seven points (2+5) in five career meetings with the Capitals.
  • Sam Reinhart has totaled seven points (4+3) in his last seven games against Washington.
  • Taylor Hall has recorded six points (2+4) in his last six meetings with the Capitals.
  • Jack Eichel has posted six points (3+3) in six games against the Capitals since the beginning of the 2017-18 season.

OPENING NIGHT

  • Tonight’s game marks the 50th season-opener in franchise history.
  • The Sabres are 25-19-5 all-time in season-openers; 17-10-5 when opening at home.
  • Buffalo is 22-20-7 all-time in their first home game of the season. This is the team’s sixth season-opener in the last seven seasons to take place at home.

WELCOME TO BUFFALO

The Sabres have seven new players on their opening-day roster this season:

Player, Pos. How Acquired Pronunciation Notes
Dylan Cozens, C Draft (2019) KUH-zihns Buffalo’s first-round pick (7th overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft recently earned a silver medal and was named to the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship all-star team after leading all players with eight goals in the tournament.
Cody Eakin, C Free Agency EE-kihn His 10 career shorthanded goals tie for 20th-most in the NHL since he entered the league in 2011-12.
Taylor Hall, LW Free Agency HAWL Won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s MVP in 2017-18; his 1.05 points per game in the last three seasons ranks 17th in the NHL.
Matt Irwin, D Free Agency UHR-wihn Has a career shot attempts percentage (SAT%) of 51.3 percent and has never finished a full NHL season below 50.1 percent.
Tobias Rieder, LW Free Agency REE-duhr His three shorthanded goals in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs tied an NHL postseason record; he was the seventh player ever to score three in a single postseason.
Riley Sheahan, C Free Agency SHAY-uhn His 5.42 goals against per 60 minutes on the penalty kill in 2019-20 ranked 15th-best among the top 100 NHL forwards in shorthanded ice time.
Eric Staal, C Trade (MIN) STAWL Enters the 2020-21 season ranked in the top 10 among active NHL players in career regular-season games played (7th), goals (6th) and points (8th).

GOOD FIRST IMPRESSIONS
The Sabres have had a newly acquired player score in five of their last nine season-openers: Jason Pominville (Oct. 5, 2017 vs. MTL), Jack Eichel (Oct. 8, 2015 vs. OTT), Zemgus Girgensons (Oct. 2, 2013 at DET), Steve Ott (Jan. 20, 2013 vs. PHI) and Ville Leino (Oct. 7, 2011 vs. ANA). Each player scored on his first shot, except for Eichel, who scored on his second shot.

BACK-TO-BACK
Tonight’s game opens Buffalo’s first of eight sets of back-to-back games this season, which continues tomorrow night vs. Washington. The Sabres were 4-6-2 in the first game of back-to-back sets and 6-5-1 in the second game last season. Buffalo’s point breakdown in 2019-20 back-to-back sets was: four points (1), three points (3), two points (5), one point (0) and zero points (3).

2020-21 ROSTER NOTES 
Of the 22 players on Buffalo’s opening night roster:

  • Eight were originally drafted by the Sabres — five were first-round selections (Ristolainen, 2013; Reinhart, 2014; Eichel, 2015; Dahlin, 2018; Cozens, 2019), one was a second-round pick (McCabe, 2012), one was a sixth-round pick (Ullmark, 2012) and one was a seventh-round pick (Olofsson, 2014).
  • Six were acquired in trades: JokiharjuMillerMontourSkinnerStaal, Thompson
  • Eight were signed as free agents: EakinHall, HuttonIrwinLazarOkposoRiederSheahan
  • Fifteen played in Buffalo at some point last season: DahlinEichelHuttonJokiharjuLazarMcCabeMillerMontourOkposoOlofssonReinhartRistolainenSkinnerThompsonUllmark
  • Eight are new to the Sabres this season: CozensEakinHallIrwin, RiederSheahanStaal

SABRES REAL-TIME STATS LEADERS
Hits: N/A
Blocked Shots: N/A
Shots: N/A

SABRES’ RECORD IN 10 GAME SEGMENTS [W-L-OTL (PTS), GF/GA, PP, PK]
1-10: 0-0-0 (0), 0/0, 0/0, 0/0

OVERTIME RESULTS (00126-134 all-time)
N/A

SHOOTOUT RESULTS (007771 all-time)
N/A

MILESTONES APPROACHING (Player … Needs … Milestone)
Games Played
Linus Ullmark … 3 games … 100 career games played
Rasmus Ristolainen … 7 games … 500 career games played
Goals
Kyle Okposo … 4 goals … 200 career goals
Points
Brandon Montour … 9 points … 100 career points
Wins
Carter Hutton … 7 wins … 100 career wins

RECENT MILESTONES
N/A